As you open the door, you’re greeted by pristine glass walls, with the company logo etched in the center. Natural sunlight floods in and you’re greeted with a friendly, “Good afternoon.”
This bright and welcoming scenario is the product of modern design. Conference room design routinely use glass walls, inviting outsiders a peek in. While some people might chalk this up to a passing fad that every designer has jumped on, they’re not there simply for vanity’s sake. There is indeed reasoning behind the use of glass walls in a company conference room.
Abundant Natural Light
Natural light boosts your health. Natural light should be a part of everyone’s perfect workspace, but not everyone has access to a window. Unfortunately, windows and sunlight are a luxury.
Conference rooms that are long and hold dozens of people take up a great deal of office space. If it's in a central area of your office, it can be especially cumbersome to your office design. But by replacing solid walls with glass walls, you’re enabling the natural light to flood into the entire office, not just the conference room.
Now instead of having a big dark box in the middle of your office, you have a natural source of light that radiates throughout the entire office. Every employee will benefit from the excess sunlight.
When your office is filled with opaque walls, it compartmentalizes the office design. If we can only see the wall six feet in front of us, the space feels much more limiting. Employees will feel a sense of isolation, separate from the team, rather than building a cohesive unit.
Glass walls enhance the perception of how big an office areas actually is. The transparency make the entire office appear to be bigger, since we can see through the walls. This phenomenon decreases the feeling of claustrophobia and gives employees the feeling of more freedom and flexibility, which impacts the ability to think creatively. All this comes from the open space glass walls provide.
A Conference Room Management System
Whether you’re working in a coworking space or your company’s private office, the conference room schedule is in high demand. You might have the best conference room reservation software in place, but that doesn’t always stop meetings from running late. Instead of awkwardly popping your head into the conference room and disrupting the closing moments of a meeting, glass walls lets both sides know that the time is coming to an end.
If you’re next in line for the conference room and you see that the meeting room is in use, you can politely stand outside and wait. As your entire team patiently waits outside the conference room, it gives a visual cue to the current meeting that it’s time to wrap it up. Nobody’s meeting was interrupted and no one has to check the conference room iPad to see who has the room booked.
Glass doors offer transparency that affects more than just the feel of your office design; it can impact employee behavior. When people are working in a conference room, it’s natural to fall off topic and start unrelated conversations. This becomes easier when you’re surrounded by solid walls that passing co-workers can’t casually peek in.
Scientists from Newcastle University conducted a study that found just the illusion of being observed makes people act more appropriately. Therefore, if your conference room walls are glass, and it appears that the rest of the office can watch your every move, meeting participants will be on their best behavior. Meetings will be conducted more efficiently and less time will be wasted on discussing weekend plans.
An underrated benefit of glass walls is doodling. In the heat of a brainstorming session, you don’t want to stop the creative flow. Rather than scrambling for pen and paper, pick up a dry erase marker and start sketching ideas on your glass walls. This is a great alternative if you haven’t transformed your walls into a marker board just yet. A $4 set of markers will do the trick. Clean up just requires a wet paper towel.
The decision to choose glass walls for your conference room is not solely an aesthetic choice. It’s a sound decision that will improve your company. Your office will appear larger. Sunlight will improve employee health and morale, meetings will become more efficient, and employees will have increased creativity. Perhaps the question is, why doesn’t your office have a conference room with glass walls?